The hospital in Penonome, where I finally was seen and the CAT scan showed a cerebral hematoma. When I was there I had not slept in more than two days and was given a sedative. And then the police came in and questioned me under sedation.
Some questions and repeated requests
by Eric Jackson
What follows is a rough translation of a Spanish-language email I sent to prosecutors in Cocle and to which I have received no response.
Eric Jackson @___
Dear Mr. Gonzarck,
1. Am I right in understanding that Eliécer Flores Araúz is still a fugitive, and the Public Ministry has made a deal with him while he has not turned himself in to the authorities?
2. It has been a long time in recovery and I still have what the literature might describe as persistent concussion symptoms. My writing, my main calling, has still not returned to where it was before the attack. The loss and damage inventory has also taken time, and it’s hard to say whether it’s depression, concussion effects, or both.
In any case, two important things are missing, which may have been stolen in the series of raids and thefts that preceded the attack on my person, and which I could have lost in another way:
a) My expired (in the 1990s!) US passport; and
b) Two documents related to the transfer to me of the rights of possession of my house and farm of 900 square meters. (It seems that in Panamanian law, the maxim of Roman law res ipsa loquitur means nothing, although it is one of the pillars of the common law circumstantial evidence. For example, who would want to strip me of those documents and would also disappear from the neighborhood after the attack?)
As for the latter, you wouldn’t think I’d be stupid enough not to have copies elsewhere? But as for the first one, I need a report from the Panamanian authorities on the loss of it to take it to the United States consulate to replace it. I keep asking the Public Ministry and the National Police how and where to make this report and obtain this document, and I never get an answer.
I have no plans to travel outside of Panama, but in the United States ever more common are state laws to require more identification to vote. I may need a valid passport to vote absentee in the congressional elections this year. I need a document from the Panamanian authorities about the loss of my gringo passport.
[Note: Since I sent this note off to the prosecutors, with a copy to the US consul, the latter said that we could work around the lack of a police report to get me a new passport.]
3. The prosecutor Brenda Flores and the people who came with her were very uninterested in any physical evidence at my home. Not even the marks on my door and gate from the objects the thugs threw at me. Not even the remains of my water tank that one of the men now in prison threw at me. Not even items that were handled by the intruder(s) in the prior break-ins and that I carefully guarded to preserve fingerprints.
In fact, the first two things that Brenda Flores told me is that the Public Ministry is not interested in previous break-ins and thefts (see attachment A), and that I know nothing about Panamanian law.
Now the rains are coming and I am planting this year’s gardens. You keep telling me this case is still ongoing. Does that mean I can’t incorporate into my garden the metal mop handle with which one of the men now in prison hit me over the head? (See attachment B.)
4. ABOUT Brenda Flores. In my first interrogation, she repeatedly warned me about filing a false police report. However, she surely knew – from the initial police report – that it was not me, but the neighbors, who called the police.
Despite the prescription of the emergency doctor to whom the police took me in Antón, Brenda Flores delayed the tests the doctor ordered for two days. Even though I told her I’m bipolar, that when somebody attacks a bipolar person like me, he or she normally becomes manic – and I was. She questioned me for six hours, increasingly repetitive, in that first session.
Since I had not yet gone to the hospital in Penonomé, I asked a friend to take photos of the marks on my body. (See, for example, Annex C). And when I showed them to Brenda Flores she told me that they don’t prove anything and they can’t be used.
Then the police brought in a plastic bag with a small black Nokia phone that looked a lot like mine. I said it looked like mine but to positively identify it I would have to see what was inside. Brenda Flores objected. Despite her objections, the police and prosecutors allowed me to turn on the phone and there I found my mother’s number and a record of my recent calls. Thus I positively identified it, in a way that left no chance that I would be mistaken and be accused of telling a lie.
Given all of this, and given that in a tradition in which I practiced as a lawyer, if you’re representing a client and not foolish enough to represent one’s self, there are rude questions that need to be asked:
IS THERE ANY FAMILY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ELIECER FLORES AND BRENDA FLORES?
5. That Nokia phone has a chip with a number that I have used since the late 1990s. It is the number my mother knows (she is 95 years old and now lives in the United States in assisted living), and it’s the number that various news organizations abroad for which I have worked very occasionally know, so it is valuable for me to keep that number. But Tigo tells me that if the prosecutors have my phone number in their possession, they can’t give me a new chip with that number.
I want to get that Nokia phone back, or at least the chip.
Eric Lea Jackson Malo, BS, JD
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